A Modern Apartment Block in Nishiazabu by SALHAUS

This apartment block in Japan has been designed by a local architecture studio called SALHAUS. The street in which it’s been constructed features a mix of low-rise residential timber houses, and high-rise condominiums. The new addition acts like a bridge between the two.


Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

The apartment block has been constructed in Nishiazabu, and features 10 micro-apartments, each with its own balcony. Unlike a lot of other Japanese buildings which aim to provide privacy for their occupants, SALHAUS decided to incorporate a degree of transparency and openness to the apartments.


Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Living Area - Humble Homes

The areas of the apartments that are more open include the entrances and balconies; they contain metal meshing instead of solid walls. The meshing acts as a much more subtle boundary between public and private spaces and SALHAUS hopes that the reduced boundaries will help promote social interaction amongst the neighbors.


Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Terrace - Humble Homes

The building also features a central atrium to help create a brighter environment and improved ventilation for the occupants. The apartments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but generally contain a large open plan living, dining and kitchen area that doubles as a bedroom at night.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Balconies - Humble Homes

They also feature separate washrooms and toilets; a common trait of Japanese design. The interior finish is somewhat bare, but the photographs were taken before the residents had moved in. The interior is composed mostly of exposed concrete and white partition walls, with wooden floors and furniture pieces.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The perimeter walls of the exterior feature plenty of floor-to-ceiling windows, ensuring that internal living areas as just as bright as the enclosed balconies.

For more apartments check out this duplex apartment in Spain that features a 36 square meter floor plan. Or, this versatile apartment by BEP architects. See all apartments.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Masao nishikawa

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. Love the Japanese apartments. Why cant we entertain this type of architecture in the UK….. Small spaces for singles or a couple. These are great.

  2. Interesting, attractive design — and I am one that is NOT delighted by “modern” architecture. After all, how appealing can a box be ? Several comments:
    1. Very clever the balconies for such small places. I lived in a small apt once in Asia with a functioning small balcony viewed through large glass windows and a glass door,, which made the small place feel and live much larger than it was.
    2. An A+ for the atrium(s) though I can’t really see how they function from my layman’s view of the floor plan.
    3. The place would be so much more human and friendly with the right color paint plus more wood. All this modern glass and sterile white concert in the land of exquisite traditional Shinto design. Oh my…
    These comments respectfully submitted.

  3. Of course, of course, the wire cages showing in the pictures. Bang head, bang head, bang…